Journal Article

Globalization and the future of the law of the sovereign state

Eric C. Ip

in International Journal of Constitutional Law

Published on behalf of The New York University School of Law

Volume 8, issue 3, pages 636-655
Published in print July 2010 | ISSN: 1474-2640
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1474-2659 | DOI:
Globalization and the future of the law of the sovereign state

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  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • UK Politics


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Globalization is transforming the contemporary international system. Two major developments have arisen at the expense of the law of the sovereign state. First, specialized regimes of public international law have proliferated into areas previously monopolized by the state, such as human rights, environmental law, and trade law. Second, rules enacted by intergovernmental organizations and transnational corporations have become increasingly prominent. Inevitably, intertwined with these developments is the undermining of the Westphalian constitutional concepts of state sovereignty. Combining the approaches of international political economy and sociolegal theory, this paper contributes to the jurisprudential debate by arguing that globalization is far from the simple negation of sovereignty and state law. Global processes have transformed state law in remarkable ways. At the same time, state law is highly adaptive and plays a significant role in recasting transnational developments. More importantly, the current distinction between global and state law is increasingly blurred in practice. The outcome of these interactions demands a rethinking of what “law” is.

Journal Article.  8920 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law ; UK Politics

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